Thought Catalog is the equivalent of your high school’s scrawny asthmatic kid with the weird journal who you always hope is going to be really sweet if you just give him a chance. Hey, he’s probably just going through some stuff right now. Who isn’t?! It’s high school! Correction: Thought Catalog is that kid if that kid was a complete dick and that journal contained a whole lot of terrible, unfounded opinion-vomits. And this latest one is particularly chunky.
The article’s title, “The Feminine Aficionado” is clearly an attempt to appropriate Betty Freidan’s canonical work of feminist literature, The Feminine Mystique, which is somehow its least offensive aspect. The gist of the piece is this: A young man, Raul Felix (or “Raul Felix”), has decided that the boners he gets from looking at traditionally feminine women need to be defended. Through sentences such as, “I value femininity very highly in a woman; the more masculine traits she possess (sic), the unsexier (uh, sic?) she becomes in my eyes,” Mr. Felix proves that his love of womankind knows no boundaries, unless those boundaries involve pixie cuts or sports. He loves women. Just listen to him compliment us: “I love women with long hair, soft skin, sexy voices, skillfully applied make-up, supple breasts, and a full ass.” GOTTA HAVE THAT FULL ASS, YOU GUYS. (If you thought this would be the only reference to women’s asses in this article, it is not.)
Tragically, those of us who are not Scarlett Johansson don’t stand a chance with Mr. Felix: “I don’t give a shit about the rest. I don’t wish them ill, but a woman who is not one of the three stands zero chance of being in a relationship with me; it doesn’t matter how many other great qualities she has.” Well, unless you happen to catch him at an opportune moment: “I have fucked the occasional atrocity of a female in drunken desperation; self hatred followed.” There’s hope!!
And Felix is totally self-deprecating, too, in a charming way. He’s well aware that the only women he finds suitable for this Earth are way out of his league:
“I will analyze her walk, composure, and the bounce of her ass. I’ll analyze her hair, skin color, and figure. If she has potential, I make an immediate plan of action to get a good look at her face. Whether my recon missions calls for me to pretend to go to the bathroom, look for a book, or act like I’m looking for a table, I’m confirming the cute face. If that checks out; I’ll make my move to talk to her with a 95% chance of rejection.”
When Felix is on a dangerous recon mission into the scary lady war zone to confirm his target’s perfect face, perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect figure, perfect Ass Bounce, he knows he’s going to get rejected. You see, he’s the real victim, not Recon Mission Target.
If you’re somehow not sopping wet yet, just listen to Felix describe how he wants to have sex with you:
“I understand my testosterone and animalistic desire to penetrate her deeply and inseminate her with my seeds. I fantasize about ripping off her pretty, pink panties with the little flower pattern on them, ravaging and fucking her better than whatever poor excuse of lover she may currently have.”
Yet another requirement for letting Mr. Felix bone you: getting aroused by the words “penetrate,” “inseminate” and “little flower pattern.”
Although I could weep over the author’s deep-held contempt for my pale skin, unsexy voice and lack of Ass Bounce all day, I prefer to believe that “The Feminine Aficionado” is simply a beginner’s attempt at satire (maybe then there’d still be a chance he finds me worthy of human existence!) And perhaps it would also mean this atrocity, entitled “What It Is To Write” is also satire, making the pearl of wisdom, “Writing, in its simplest form, is putting words on paper. Like a skilled wordsmith, you must bend them to your will” just a parody of incredibly bad literature.
However, whether Felix is trolling us or not is a question that should be addressed to Thought Catalog’s editors, not Felix himself. “The Feminine Aficionado” might be satirical; Raul Felix might not even be a real person (who knows, maybe it’s a fake Twitter?), but if it is, it’s poorly executed and serves no purpose other than generating hate-clicks for the site. Satire is exaggerated, ironic; this piece fits exactly within the trendy notion that anyone’s claim of victimhood can be co-opted by their oppressor, who will get away with it under the pretense that there are two (valid) sides to every story. Felix’s article is a sad example of the way someone’s self-loathing (he calls himself a “narcissist” and “vulgar” in his Twitter bio) can lead to an actual feeling of victimization. And for all Felix’s chest-thumping and masculinity-asserting, there’s an undercurrent that suggests he truly believes he’s fighting the good fight. He’s Grade-A delusional in a way that’s too raw to be a joke. Or a good one, anyway.
But how did we get here? As Thought Catalog continues to forge its own identity somewhere between Huff Post, BuzzFeed, XOJane, Medium and the warped remnants of the online literary publication for aspiring writers that it once set out to be, the direction of the site is undeniably misguided, albeit fruitful from a business perspective. Currently, Thought Catalog sees about 20 million unique visitors and 63 million page views per month, making it the 55th most popular website in the U.S.—ahead of both Time and Gawker. Its traffic in the past two years, roughly around the same time TC flooded its inventory with Raul Felix–esque drivel, has soared. Sure, people will write for them for free (hell, I did), but how on earth did Raul Felix get past any set of eyes, let alone eyes whose job it is to weed out the crazies? So, Thought Catalog editors, I’m calling you out. You don’t have to be the New Yorker. You don’t even have to be good. But seriously, fuck you for publishing anything by this bag of dicks. Thought Catalog: even you are better than this.
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa